Bioshock Deep, Emergent AI for a First-Person Shooter
Bioshock, the game publishers called "just another f****** PC FPS," is now available as a downloadable demo on Xbox Live Marketplace. The full version will be available on both Xbox 360 and PC on Aug. 24.
Reviews for the upcoming science fiction first-person shooter are good. Official Xbox Magazine has it rated it at 100 per cent. Here's an excerpt from Metacritic.com.
What's so special about Bioshock?
Bioshock has been called a spiritual sequel to System Shock II. The team that developed SSII turned Bioshock into the game they really wanted to make. It's been in development for years and if reports of its depth of replay-ability and cutting-edge graphics are any indication, it shows.
You can expect this game to have a very deep interactive environment and AI. Players will be able to make choices that will affect the game-world around them.
Bioshock was developed to have a rich AI ecology, meaning elements in the game world will evolve around the player's choices. Only the deepest, most richly-detailed games possess this level of acumen called emergent gameplay – when players can delve so deep into the game environment that unexpected elements that weren't coded will emerge.
Think of it like this. The developers gave life to the game's environment but it continues to evolve on its own, constrained only by its own Artificial Intelligence. It's a fascinating level of detail to which few video games have ever aspired.
An article in ComputerandVideogames.com tells the story about how developers tried to shop Bioshock around and it came very close to NOT getting published.
Essentially, publishers are the business side of the industry and most don't like to take big risks.
Bioshock's level of work and detail constitutes a big risk. Whether or not it will pay off for Take Two Interactive remains to be seen but we'll definitely take another look later this month.